There is a new chapter in Harry Potter’s story — and it was written by artificial intelligence

A young Daniel Radcliffe in one of the Harry Potter movies.

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A young Daniel Radcliffe in one of the Harry Potter movies.
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Warner Brothers

  • An artificial intelligence tool read all of the “Harry Potter” books and automatically generated a new, self-written chapter out of what it learned.
  • The output text was mostly raw and incomprehensible, so a few writers intervened to make it understandable.
  • The writing is mostly weird and borderline comical, but the machine managed to partly reproduce original writer J.K. Rowling’s writing style.

There is a new chapter in Harry Potter’s story, but it wasn’t written by the original author, J.K. Rowling. Instead, an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm did most of the hard work, The Verge first reported.

The people over at Botnik Studio fed a computer’s algorithmic tool with all of the original novels from Harry Potter’s saga, and in return, it generated a three-page chapter titled “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash.”

The AI churned out the bulk of the text, but in order to transform it from your typical predictive-text word salad to something actually intelligible, a number of writers were involved.

Chief among them is Jamie Brew, a former writer for The Onion and Clickhole, who had already worked on similar automated text prediction writings on Tumblr, where his objectdreams page includes procedurally generated, fictional work on X-Files, grammar rules, and even Craiglist ads.

With his and the other writers’ work, The Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash has been curated to be grammatically correct and understandable, but the actual content is as weird as the title suggests – with things such as “BEEF WOMEN” being a door’s password.

But it gets even better: “The pig of Hufflepuff pulsed like a large bullfrog,” it reads at one point. “Dumbledore smiled at it, and placed his hand on its head: ‘You are Hagrid now.'”

The writing is as weird as it is fun, and it might be worth a few minutes of your time; if you agree, you can read the whole chapter here.